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What Is Defined in Operational Definitions? The Case of Operant Psychology
Behavior and Philosophy
Vol. 31 (2003), pp. 111-126
Published by: Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies (CCBS)
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27759449
Page Count: 16
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Operationalism, Psychological reinforcement, Mental stimulation, Psychology, Operational definition, Observational research, Philosophical psychology, Behaviorism, Experimental psychology, Operational terms
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With S.S. Stevens, operationism became an important influence in psychology. In this paper I discuss the differences between Bridgman's and Stevens' proposals on operationism and the role that operational definitions play in scientific theory. I discuss how Stevens' notions of the basic act of discrimination and of the relation procedure–outcome influenced B.F. Skinner's criteria under which the main conceptual distinctions in operant psychology were formulated. The operational origin of the dichotomies between respondent and operant behavior, contingency-shaped and rulegoverned behavior, private and public events, and verbal and nonverbal behavior are examined.
Behavior and Philosophy © 2003 Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies (CCBS)